BEIRUT: Lebanon’s public sector ranked 127 among the most corrupt countries, an international watchdog group said in its annual survey.
Transparency International's 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index scored 177 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
No country recorded a perfect score, and two-thirds of countries scored below 50, which according to the watchdog indicates “a serious, worldwide corruption problem.”
Lebanon scored 28 this year while the country scored 30 in its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2012, which indicates a slight rise in corruption.
The survey also showed that the most violent nations in the Middle East are perceived to be the region's most corrupt and are getting worse.
Three countries that have undergone Arab Spring transformations dropped notably over the past year, with Yemen's rating falling five points to 18, Syria dropping nine points to 17, and Libya down six points to 15.
At the top, between 80 and 89, aside from Denmark and New Zealand, were Luxembourg, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
The bottom-ranked countries, which included Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan and South Sudan, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti and Yemen, scored 10 to 19.
Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia tied for last place with 8 points.
Transparency International's annual list is the most widely used indicator of sleaze in political parties, police, justice systems and civil services, a scourge which undermines development and the fight against poverty.
The survey of 177 countries is based on local and international experts' opinions of public-sector corruption.
The survey, first conducted in 1995, draws on a variety of sources that capture perceptions of corruption, including World Bank and World Economic Forum assessments, the African Development Bank's governance ratings, and Transparency International's own Bribe Payers Survey.
Greece, one of the countries hit hardest by the European financial crisis, ranked in 80th place with a score of 40, though that was still an improvement of four points from last year's result.
By contrast Spain, whose economy is also suffering, dropped six points to 59 points and ranked 40th on the list.- With AP.